My Paramania GTR 20 arrived last friday morning on what happened to be the first flyable day of the week. I am sitting here writing this review and noting that I will probably be stuck on the ground again for the next few days. Crappy east coast weather!
Quick facts – All up weight – 108kg, 20m flat glider size, vittorazi moster engine, low fixed hang point paramotor.
The GTR arrived very quickly from the factory, it only took a week to get here from time of order to delivery. When I opened up the box the first thing I pulled out was the pylon. I didn’t realize it was going to be such a well made product, more or less thought of it as a kind of gimmick. It looks like something that would sell on its own for hundreds of dollars easily. Underneath the pylon was the Paramania backpack, sweet design. Inside the backpack was the little black beauty – the GTR 20 ‘stealth.’ I didn’t weigh the glider but it’s definitely pretty light weight. Inside the box Paramania also includes there stuff bag that looks like it came off the space shuttle. They really give you a lot of accessories for a great price. Other items are included – speedbar, stickers, repair kit, glider bag, pylon bag.
So after getting some work done it was time to head out to the field. Upon arrival, winds were blowing light and variable-10 with gusts up to 15, not the best day for enjoyable flying but definitely doable. I kited the wing for a bit to get a feel for it, make sure the brakes were in the right position for my low hang points and check out the handling. It kites nice and easy, even with the gusty winds. Being that this is a small 20m glider, it will overshoot you if you don’t check it when pulling it up. I was messing with it to try and get it to overfly me and it definitely will coming up in gusty winds. Totally fine though, it should be expected. The Paramania GTR kites and launches like a 1-2 glider, it’s easy as long as you don’t mind a faster take off run.
After hooking up my motor I made an easy reverse launch and was in the air within a few steps thanks to a gust hitting my fayce. The second I was in the air with the GTR I could already tell it was very stable. The glider locks in nicely overhead and gives you a comfortable level of security. This is my first uncertified glider and felt even more stable than my ENC rated Ozone Speedster. I took off with trims about an inch out but brought them in to see how it handled in slow trim. Trims pulled in, this glider still handles fantastic and its still fast. Doesn’t take much brake pull to get a good bank, pull what your used to on your 1-2 glider and you may find yourself in a very uncomfortable attitude…. not me though, I couldnt get enough of it!
I performed a few touch and goes and instantly fell in love with the gliders long flare, you can skim the ground for a long while bleeding off energy, even on slow trim. Once back in the air one of the things I need to mention is that the brakes are quite heavy on this glider. It is definitely not a bad thing but your arms will get a work out. Like I said earlier, it only takes a few inches of brake pull to gain a nice bank angle so heavy brakes are a good thing.
Gusting to 15 on the ground usually makes it pretty rough flying around my field. I was active flying the glider the whole time as I always do but never once had to catch the surge… this glider never overshot me in the air. My buddy keith landed early because of the uncomfortable air but I really didn’t feel it like I usually would on my old regular paragliders or even the speedster reflex glider (on slow trim). It just cut right through everything and was begging me to throw it sideways. So much fun!
As far as speeds go- I will update this section when I get some numbers recorded. I’m sure its pretty fast being a 20m glider but the handling is just so much fun that i’m going to have a hard time flying straight and level to get some numbers.
Summary – This is an uncertified glider designed for pylon racing and low level manuevering. It’s not a glider to take out thermalling but when it comes to low level precision paramotor flying, moderate acro with reflex technology, it is awesome. It is the most fun glider I have ever flown. Very efficient for a 20m glider too! I’ll be flying with the pylon in the coming months, can’t wait to try that out.
Quick video of my first flights -